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August 30, 2004

"OpenOffice.org Writer": The Free Alternative to Microsoft Word

Sebastopol, CA--Although it's admirable to show patience and endurance in the face of adversity, they're not qualities you hope to develop while working with a word processor, but all too often, that's what users experience. If you've ever been frustrated by Microsoft Word's quirks and limitations--including its price tag--and longed for a practical alternative, then perhaps the time has come to break free. "OpenOffice.org is a strong contender for the office suite market currently dominated by Microsoft Office," says Jean Hollis Weber, author of OpenOffice.org Writer (O'Reilly Community Press, US $24.95). "Although it may not replace Microsoft Office in large businesses, it's becoming increasingly popular in educational institutions and government departments as well as among home users," she notes. "Writer, the word processing component, does as good a job as Microsoft Word, and sometimes a better job."

OpenOffice.org is the free, open source office suite; its word processor, Writer, has proven extremely popular with both Windows and Linux users. "I wrote this book and did the page layout entirely in Writer," Weber adds. "I find Writer quite easy to use and now prefer it to Word. However, Writer does some things a bit differently from Word, so it can be quite frustrating until you've learned the tricks. My book tells readers about a lot of the tricks, so they don't need to spend all that time figuring it out for themselves."

Its excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office formats, its ability to run on Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X computers, and the fact that it's free has led to OpenOffice.org's adoption by schools, governments, and businesses around the world. How good can it be if it's free? you might wonder. And how much trouble will it be to install and learn? A quick tour of the program shows you instantly: the features you use regularly--from formatting and spell check to using templates and creating indexes--are all there. And Writer's intuitive, surprisingly familiar interface lets users navigate with ease.

OpenOffice.org Writer provides guidance for anyone who wants freedom from the Microsoft Word rut. Its detailed table of contents makes it a handy reference for even experienced word processor users who want to get up to speed quickly and make sure they are taking full advantage of Writer's features. With the complete office suite included on a CD (which you can install on as many machines as you like), this book makes using Writer an easy decision.

Written for intermediate and advanced users of word processing programs, OpenOffice.org Writer provides guidance for common and advanced word processing tasks. With this book, you learn how to:

  • Set up Writer to work your way
  • Edit effectively by using revision tracking
  • Create templates and styles
  • Use fields to automate your document and keep it up-to-date
  • Create tables of contents, indexes, and bibliographies
  • Manage large or complex documents
  • Make a smooth transition from Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice.org Writer is part of the O'Reilly Community Press series, which spurs the development of interesting technologies by making online documentation available in print. Key players in technical communities create and edit the content of O'Reilly Community Press titles, and O'Reilly manufactures and distributes the books. Each book reflects the knowledge and voice of the community that has created it.

    Additional Resources:

    OpenOffice.org Writer
    Jean Hollis Weber
    ISBN 0-596-00826-0, 213 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O'Reilly

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